BONES OF CONTENTION by Edward Candy
Kirkus Star

BONES OF CONTENTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A vote of thanks to the shrewd editor who decided to resurrect this 1954 British gem--which, like all but one of Candy's novels (the name is a pseudonym for English doctor Barbara Neville), has never published in the US. The setting is London's Royal College of Pediatricians, where the skeleton of a young girl has been anonymously delivered to the College's elderly museum-curator. Then, when the curator is found dead, of apparent natural causes after a visit to affluent physician Sidney Berringer, the doings of the villain (revealed early on) escalate--wreaking havoc upon the College's likable staff: impressive, simpatico chief Fabian Honeychurch; his charming secretary Kate Cardew; and her suitors, both editor-researchers for the College's Journal--Hilary Scott and Miles Latimer. It's Latimer, in fact, who winds up in Berringer's lethally private hospital, thanks to the machinations of waspish, ambitious librarian Victor Pounceforth. And his rescue involves blackmail, archaeology, romance, and touching loyalty. Barzun and Taylor's venerable (yet idiosyncratic) Catalogue of Crime doesn't care for this novel, comparing Candy's leisurely style to Ivy Compton-Burnett's. But other readers will find that Candy's calm, literate delivery doesn't slow the tempo one whit--and will be fully held until the last just desert is handed out. A fresh and classy rediscovery.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday